Essay on Humanism

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Analyze the influence of humanism on the visual arts in the Italian Renaissance. Use at least THREE specific works to support your analysis.

The Renaissance produced new ideas that were reflected in the arts, philosophy, and literature. Humanism was a literary movement that celebrated the individual. It also stimulated the study of Greek and Roman literature and culture. Petrarch and many other humanists would try to recover many of the classics, and soon realized how much classical heritage was lost. Art was a key part of humanism. The art of the time was of people, and supported by the Medici family, who were patrons of the art. Humanism influenced many of the visual arts including sculptures, writings, and paintings.

Humanism art showcased realism and the human form, and sculpture helped to emphasize that. A sculpture done in 1504 by Michelangelo was called David. This masterpiece illustrates true humanity as the sculpture is of a nude man. Another significant sculpture by Michelangelo is La Pieta. The sculpture is of a woman, sitting down holding a man in her arms. The woman has an abundance of clothing on, while the man is barely clothed. The sculpture is realistic and focused on humanity and emotion, as the caring relationship between man and woman is shown. In addition, humanity is portrayed as the human body is depicted very well through sculpture. Humanism has been the fuel behind these classic sculptures.

Writing was a very important characteristic of humanism. Petrarch was a humanist who searched for old manuscripts. He discovered many and realized how much classical heritage as lost. He also wrote sonnets, and assembled Greek and Roman writings. A main writing of that time was The Courier by Baldassare Castiglione. It was a manual for men, teaching them how to behave with a woman. Men need to be able to impress their woman and be a true gentleman. In addition, they needed to show the woman that he knew everything and could do everything and...
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